Did you receive a Jacksonville traffic ticket for driving while having a suspended license? If so, there are things that you need to know about Jacksonville driving on a suspended or revoked license. Driving with a suspended or revoked license in Florida may be a civil ticket or criminal charge. If you are given a notice to appear, it is a criminal charge. It can also be a misdemeanor or felony crime. The level of the Jacksonville Suspended License charge will depend on your Florida driving record.
Florida Statute 322.34(1) is the law that covers driving on a Florida suspended drivers license. The difference between a felony and misdemeanor is the knowledge element. Let’s assume that the driver did not know that his or her Jacksonville drivers license was suspended or revoked. The driver will be issued a Jacksonville traffic ticket which is a civil traffic citation. This is not a criminal charge. It should still be taken seriously, because it can be used against the driver in the future. It will be on the driver’s Florida driving record.
What if the person had knowledge that his or her Florida drivers license was suspended? The police officer may write a criminal traffic citation for FL driving with a suspended license. This is called as a notice to appear citation in Florida. The driver or his Jacksonville criminal lawyer must set a court date. Florida Statute Section 322.34(2) makes a first conviction for driving on a suspended license a 2nd degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted of driving on a suspended license again, it is a 1st degree misdemeanor. A third conviction may result in a third degree felony.
Florida driving on a suspended license charges can be felonies. If The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) designates you as a Jacksonville habitual traffic offender, your license will be suspended for 5 years. If you are caught driving as a Florida habitual traffic offender, you will be arrested for felony driving while having a suspended license. You can defend against a Jacksonville habitual traffic offender charge. Florida State Section 322.34(10)(a)(6) creates a defense to driving on a revoked license as a FL habitual traffic offender. If you are a habitual traffic offender based on a drivers license suspension for the reasons listed below, you should not be charged with a felony:
- Failing to pay child support;
- Failing to pay any other financial obligation (some crimes are excluded, see section 322.245(1));
- Failing to comply with a civil penalty (such as not paying a traffic citation, see section 318.15);
- Failing to maintain vehicular financial responsibility (such as insurance, see chapter 324);
- Failing to comply with attendance or other requirements for minors (see section 322.091).
Has your license been suspended due to Florida traffic tickets in Duval, Nassau, Clay, or St. Johns County FL? Talk to a Jacksonville lawyer with experience helping people with drivers license problems. If you have been arrested for a criminal driving charge, call a Jacksonville criminal attorney at 20 Miles Law for help. Call (904) 564-2525.